by Callum Nixon and James Dodd
CARDIFF City fell to back-to-back defeats for the first time this season after a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest at the Cardiff City Stadium.
It was the visitors from Nottingham who had all the early pressure at the Cardiff City Stadium with left-winger Joe Lolley driving at the Cardiff defence and managing to pick out tricky midfielder Tiago Silva who managed to win an early corner for Nottingham Forest.
The early Forest pressure almost allowed the visitors to take the lead through Sammy Ameobi who only managed to pull his shot wide of Cardiff goalkeeper, Alex Smithies goal.
Cardiff eventually managed to find their feet in the game with some tidy play by right-back Dion Sanderson who found winger Junior Hoilett with his cross. The header however by the Canadian international only found the gloves of Forest keeper Brice Samba.
The pressure was all from the Bluebirds after the chance by Hoilett. A succession of free-kicks for Cardiff yielded no way in front with defender Joe Bennett firing well over the bar with his attempt.
The following free-kick almost fired the home side into the lead after a wicked ball by Josh Murphy almost met the head of Callum Paterson had it not been for Samba’s crucial punch.
It was then the visitors turn to attack with Lewis Grabban’s shot being pulled wide of Smithies goal. Forest won the ball back after the goal and missed their opportunity to take the lead after a great chance fell to Ameobi which was saved magnificently by Smithies in the Bluebirds goal.
Late in the first half, Cardiff were denied a penalty by the referee after Murphy looked to have been bought down in the Forest box after being played in behind only for the referee to wave away the Cardiff players desperate appeals.
It only took a few minutes of the second period for the deadlock to be broken. A beautiful cross by Grabban found Silva. The Portuguese midfielder made no mistake and hammered the ball into the back of the net giving Smithies no chance.
The Reds started to gather momentum, and soon after Alfa Semedo was given a chance, but saw his half volley go well over the bar.
There was clear frustration from the crowd, with a number of cries for a penalty being ignored by the referee.
On the 65th minute, Will Vaulks found Hoilett with a pinpoint accurate cross to the back post. However, Hoilett’s left-footed volley failed to threaten Samba in the Forest goal.
The home crowd finally had a small cheer when Ameobi was given the first yellow card of the day for a foul on Hoilett. This was followed by a poor free-kick which resulted in the pressure disappearing.
This was soon followed with a fantastic long ball, which found Grabban and his pass inside to Semedo would have resulted in the travelling side doubling their lead, had it not been for a brilliant diving block by Bennett.
The match ended with very little chances being created by both sides and Forest holding on.
At the final whistle, Cardiff City’s Leandro Bacuna and Callum Paterson were seen going face to face with each other exchanging words.
As a result, the English side managed to grind out the victory and will head back over the Severn Bridge with all three points.
The result means Forest jump up to third place with 59 points.
Cardiff remain 10th and six points off the play-off position.
Cardiff City: Smithies (GK), Sanderson (81’ Bacuna), Morrison ©, Nelson, Bennett, Pack (71’ Ralls), Vaulks, Hoilett, Murphy (71’ Ward), Paterson, Glatzel
Nottingham Forest: Samba (GK), Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro, Watson ©, Yates (45’ Semedo), Ameobi (81’ Diakhaby), Silva (GOAL, 90+1’ Walker), Lolley, Grabban